Some people are blessed with kids that love to sleep – unfortunately I’m not one of them. Bedtime is often crazy, long, and a battle. Ivy has just entered the ‘afraid of the dark’ stage, which has added a whole new dimension to bedtime.
We are all finding Lights Out, Leonard by Josh Pyke a little too relatable at the moment. It’s the story of a little boy (Leonard) who is NOT afraid of the dark.
Leonard was not afraid of the dark. That would be silly.
No, Leonard was afraid of the things that hid in the dark.
When it was time to go to sleep, Leonard’s mum kissed him goodnight. ‘Lights out, Leonard,’ she said. But Leonard cried ‘NO!’
Every time Leonard’s mum or dad come in to turn off the light Leonard cries ‘NO!’ and tells them all about the horrible monsters he can see in the room.
And then the page that any parent, anywhere, can relate to:
His mum and dad both sighed. They were tired.
So that night the lights in Leonard’s room stayed on.
This goes on for a long time, with Leonard becoming more and more frightened. Eventually Leonard’s parents have a stroke of genius and help Leonard overcome his fear of the monsters who live in the dark.
Lights Out, Leonard is a wonderful a conversation starter around ideas like:
- We all have things we are afraid of
- Allowing children/everyone time to process their concerns/worries
- Ways to voice our fears or concerns
- Our perception vs. reality (of course it was shadows that fuelled Leonards imagination)
- Finding solutions outside the box
Lights Out, Leonard is a beautifully funny story that is perfect for helping children and grown ups face their fears and find ways to help each other.
Lights Out, Leonard
by Josh Pyke illustrated by Chris Nixon – Puffin Books, 2019
ages 2 to 8 years / imagination + heartwarmers